Millions of tons of US soy shipped to China in trade consensus

Soybeans fall into a bin as a trailer is filled at a farm in Buda, Illinois, U.S., July 6, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 29 July 2019

Millions of tons of US soy shipped to China in trade consensus

  • China brought in 614,805 tons of soybeans from the US in June, down 2.5 percent from June 2018 and down 37 percent from 977,024 tons in May, customs data released on Saturday showed

BEIJING: The US has shipped several million tons of soybeans to China since the two countries’ leaders met in June, Chinese state media said on Sunday, an apparent sign of goodwill before trade talks in Shanghai this week.

The US-China trade war has curbed the export of US crops to China, with soybean sales falling sharply after Beijing slapped tariffs of 25 percent on American cargoes.
China has made enquiries to US suppliers for the purchase of soybeans, cotton and other agricultural products since July 19, and some sales have been made, state broadcaster CCTV said, citing China’s National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Commerce.
“As long as the American agricultural products are reasonably priced and of good quality, it is expected that there will be new purchases,” the report said.
Companies involved in the sales have applied for exclusions to tariffs on agricultural goods with Chinese customs officials, it said.
It added that the moves show China’s willingness to promote US products and make good on a consensus reached between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Osaka in June.

As long as the US agricultural products are reasonably priced and of good quality, it is expected that there will be new purchases.

                                                                                                                                                                                     — Report

Chinese and US negotiators are set to meet in Shanghai this week for the first time since the summit, with talks to start on July 30.
Earlier this month, the Trump administration said it would exempt a relatively narrow list of 110 Chinese products from tariffs, including medical equipment and key capacitors.
China brought in 614,805 tons of soybeans from the US in June, down 2.5 percent from June 2018 and down 37 percent from 977,024 tons in May, customs data released on Saturday showed.
The state media report on Sunday said the US should “take concrete measures to implement its relevant commitments and create favorable conditions for bilateral economic and trade cooperation.”


Economists fear a US recession in 2021

Updated 19 August 2019

Economists fear a US recession in 2021

  • Trump’s higher budget deficits ‘might dampen the economy’

WASHINGTON: A number of US business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the US by the end of 2021.

Thirty-four percent of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report being released Monday, said they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession in 2021. 

That’s up from 25 percent in a survey taken in February. Only 2 percent of those polled expect a recession to begin this year, while 38 percent predict that it will occur in 2020.

Trump, however, has dismissed concerns about a recession, offering an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets and saying on Sunday, “I don’t think we’re having a recession.” A strong economy is key to the Republican president’s 2020 reelection prospects.

The economists have previously expressed concern that Trump’s tariffs and higher budget deficits could eventually dampen the economy.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on goods from many key US trading partners, from China and Europe to Mexico and Canada. 

Officials maintain that the tariffs, which are taxes on imports, will help the administration gain more favorable terms of trade. But US trading partners have simply retaliated with tariffs of their own.

Trade between the US and China, the two biggest global economies, has plunged. Trump decided last Wednesday to postpone until Dec. 15 tariffs on about 60 percent of an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, granting a reprieve from a planned move that would have extended duties to nearly everything the US buys from China.

The financial markets last week signaled the possibility of a US recession, adding to concerns over the ongoing trade tensions and word from Britain and Germany that their economies are shrinking.

The economists surveyed by the NABE were skeptical about prospects for success of the latest round of US-China trade negotiations. Only 5 percent predicted that a comprehensive trade deal would result, 64 percent suggested a superficial agreement was possible and nearly 25 percent expected nothing to be agreed upon by the two countries.

The 226 respondents, who work mainly for corporations and trade associations, were surveyed between July 14 and Aug. 1. That was before the White House announced 10 percent tariffs on the additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, the Chinese currency dipped below the seven-yuan-to-$1 level for the first time in 11 years and the Trump administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator.

As a whole, the business economists’ recent responses have represented a rebuke of the Trump administration’s overall approach to the economy.

Still, for now, most economic signs appear solid. Employers are adding jobs at a steady pace, the unemployment rate remains near a 50-year low and consumers are optimistic. US retail sales figures out last Thursday showed that they jumped in July by the most in four months.